After suffering from mental health issues from a young age, UMD student Sydney Toole launched All Heal, a self-help podcast designed to help young adults navigate mental health challenges with a sense of autonomy.
“I want to encourage people to change the way that they think in order to live better,” said Toole, a junior family science major and Spanish minor. Toole released her first episode of All Heal this past February. Yet even prior to starting the podcast, she knew she wanted to utilize her own experiences in order to make a difference in the mental health field. After college, Toole hopes to become a therapist or work in social services. However, she didn’t want to wait until she finished her degree in order to start making an impact. “I struggled for a long time,” Toole said of her own mental health journey. It was years before she even had a name for what she was dealing with.
After reflecting on years of struggling, she believed the mindset shift that was helpful for her was reminding herself that she has the ability to control her own life. Now, as the host of All Heal, Toole wants the podcast to serve as a resource for other people that she wishes she could have given herself.
“I think if you can learn to recognize and define the areas of your life that you do have control over and lean into the areas where you don’t have control, you can make an entirely different life for yourself,” Toole said. This is exactly what she hopes to encourage listeners to do in her episodes.
Initially, the podcast title was meant to be a play on words. When she’s not in class Toole finds peace in nature. “There's a heal-all plant that has the power to treat a variety of different physical wounds,” said Toole. Thus, the name All Heal, a reversal of the plant name, was born.
“I wanted to switch [the name] and have it serve as a means of healing an array of emotional wounds,” she said.
Some of the topics Toole has covered in her first few months of episodes include conquering fear, overcoming procrastination, practicing empathy and setting boundaries in relationships. “I try to record based on things that relate to my life at the moment because I tend to have more to say,” Toole said. In the future, she hopes to discuss how to have a healthy relationship with social media, the roots and misconceptions of happiness and learning to be okay with the ups and downs of life.
Toole hopes to continue to grow her podcast, starting with friends and the UMD community, and eventually reaching an 18 to 25 year-old audience at-large. New episodes of All Heal are released every other Sunday on all streaming platforms. Listeners can follow the podcast’s Instagram @allhealpodcast for more updates.